Sorry in advance, this is super wordy. Anyway, here’s what we did last year:
- Became official – North Cardiff Trails is now an unincorporated association and plan on becoming a CIC this year or next depending on how fast things move.
- Structure – we now have a Chairman (Joe), a Treasurer (Paul) and a Secretary (Dan). We’ve also set up woodland leads.
- Mapping trails – let’s be honest, we’ve all been riding these trails for years but does anyone know how many there are or how many miles of trails it adds up to? Well, now we do!
- Priority trails – we’ve started working with landowners on ‘priority trails’ which are basically the ones we all know, love, and ride all the time – we’ve also used heatmap data from Strava, Garmin and Trailforks.
- Maintenance – ahead of an official license, we’ve agreed with some landowners that we can do light-touch maintenance – cutting away small fallen trees, raking the trails, and fixing drainage. Hopefully you’ve seen an improvement on the trails, but if not…
- Monitoring – we’re always out riding, and if we come across any issues we’re reporting them on TrailForks. This lets our trail fairies know there’s an issue so they can sort it out – if you don’t use TrailForks, please tag us on Instagram or Facebook instead.
- Funding – our GoFundMe page has already raised £600, letting us fix the website (super important when dealing with funding/permissions etc) and it’ll go a long way in helping us pay for the insurance we need for the NRW license. There’s also an exciting funding opportunity that we’re part of, which could see a decent amount of cash being invested in our local trails if we’re successful.
- National Resource Wales (NRW) – this is a big one. We’ve created a Project Plan that’ll go towards applying for licensing (which we’re looking to kick off this month). NRW licensing is probably the most important thing we’re working on, as it’ll allow us to formally adopt these trails and take ownership of them – putting an official agreement in place between us and NRW.
- We’ve already been working closely with NRW on the work they’re doing in Forest Fawr. Joe went out to meet them on site and highlighted the nearby trails, agreed diversions, and made suggestions to limit damage to both the trails and access to the trails.
- Joined UK MTB Trail Alliance – this is a larger, nationwide group that’s working with trail associations and bike parks across the UK to help share resources and drive change for mountain bikers.
What’s the plan for 2024?
Our short term plan for this year is to:
- Have the trail network formally recognised by all landowners
- Be a point of contact for forest managers, local riders, and other forest users to report maintenance needs / hazards / conflict / improvements etc.
- Build our network of supporters
- Raise funds through membership scheme and donations
- Invest in insurance to cover public dig days
- Have members complete Trail Maintenance, Coordinator and Inspection qualifications
- Organise public dig days and litter pick activities
- Invest in trail maintenance (tools, signage, materials etc.)
- TFT partnership for Purposeful Adventure & Trash Mob
If you want to get involved then that would be amazing – just reply to this email or drop us a message on Instagram.